WASHINGTON — Rep. Lois Capps is resting at her Santa Barbara home after undergoing knee surgery last week to repair a torn ACL.
Capps, 77, injured her knee while running in California, then reinjured it while traveling to Washington in March. The California Democrat’s spokesman, Chris Meagher, said she wanted to wait until May to have the outpatient surgery so she could miss the fewest days while Congress is in session.
The surgery was successful, Meagher said, and Capps has been staying in touch with staff while at home — even as they’re encouraging her to get some rest.
“We’re trying to get her to lay low,” Meagher said. “But she’s calling and emailing staff, so she’s remaining engaged with what’s going on here, even though she can’t be here in person.”
Capps announced last month she would retire at the end of this term in the House, where she has served since 1998. Meagher said the decision to retire had nothing to do with her knee injury.
The congresswoman met with a doctor Thursday to plan her rehabilitation, Meagher said, and she expects to be back to work at the beginning of June. If the recovery goes according to plan, she will miss eight Congressional workdays in Washington.
Congress will be out of session the week of Memorial Day.
“We wanted to minimize the number of votes she’d miss,” Meagher said.
As of Thursday afternoon, the House has voted on and passed five bills. All five are now awaiting action by the Senate.
Capps submitted declarations to the House stating her position on two of the key votes she missed, which Meagher said is the best she can do without being in Washington. Those statements do not count as votes, but are entered into the official Congressional Record.
In the statements, Capps opposed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and supported a bill that would end the mass collection of Americans’ phone data, as well as extend parts of the USA PATRIOT Act.
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Correction: This article has been updated to state that Rep. Lois Capps injured her knee while running in California, then reinjured it while traveling to Washington in March.